Getting your chimney ready for winter is crucial to protecting your home and family. However, you could risk a fire if your flue isn’t working correctly. Fortunately, there are ways you can enjoy your home’s fireplace all winter long and have peace of mind, as well. Windy Chimney Services wants to make sure you have the answers you need about cleaning, inspection, and what you can do to protect the heating and fireplace of your home.
Be Aware of Hidden Hazards
If you don’t prepare your chimney or fireplace during winter, hidden hazards can pose a significant risk that you may not have considered. These dangers are hard to see and are often overlooked. You should look for a few things before using your fireplace this winter.
- Clutter Around Your Fireplace (Rugs, Exposed Wiring, Toys, Decor)
- A Bird Or Small Animal’s Nest In Your Chimney
- A Closed Or Non-Functional Chimney Damper
Visually Inspect The Outside Of Your Chimney
Performing a visual inspection before using your fireplace for the first time is essential in avoiding potential danger.
Risks You Might Encounter
- Tree Limbs Overhanging Your Chimney
- Cracks Or Missing Bricks That Can Keep Your Chimney From Working As Intended
- Obstructions That Can Block Proper Airflow
Eliminating these hazards will give you peace of mind that your fireplace is safe for use all winter. If you are unsure what you are seeing, call a professional to conduct a thorough inspection.
Use Your Fireplace The Right Way
To protect your home and reduce any risk to your property, ensure you are using your fireplace the way it was intended.
- Picking The Right Wood – Dense seasoned wood is essential to an efficient burn.
- Don’t Use Non-Seasoned Wood – “Green” wood that hasn’t been seasoned can carry too much moisture leading to an overproduction of creosote that can build up in your chimney and pose a potential health and safety risk.
- Avoid Soft Woods – Soft woods such as pine can also create an excess creosote build-up.
- Cut Firewood To The Right Size – Split your wood to the correct size, for the wood you are burning can vary greatly depending on wood type, fireplace size, and your preferences. Generally, you will want to split logs and have pieces 12 – 14 inches long and 3 – 5 inches wide.
- Keep The Moisture Down – You want to ensure that your moisture is less than 20% to ensure optimal burning. More than 20% can produce too much moisture in the flue and cause your deterioration from the inside out.
Utilizing your fireplace how it was designed can help you maximize its efficiency and avoid damage during its life.
Get a Chimney Inspection and Sweep
Having your chimney swept and a full inspection is essential in preparing your fireplace for use all winter long. A professional chimney sweep will help eliminate any build in your chimney before using it for the first time. Chimney inspections can also reveal any hidden hazards that could worsen if not corrected before use.
- A thorough cleaning eliminates potential hazards before use and removes build-up from previous seasons.
- Find out about hidden damage and possible structural concerns that can cause further damage if not addressed before use.
- Inspections can also reveal any worn-out parts or deteriorated materials that could pose health and safety concerns during use.
Technicians can address several common issues during their service and know what to look for to help eliminate potential danger during continued use.
Don’t Put Off Having Your Chimney Inspected
An inspection and sweep of your chimney is a simple way to protect your family and get the most enjoyment from your fireplace this winter. At Windy Chimney Services, we offer 14-point inspections with every chimney sweep in the Chicagoland area so you can enjoy your fireplace the way it was intended.